Township objects to mining project
Written by ALEX ASPACHER, Sentinel Staff Writer
Friday, 05 July 2013 09:12
LIME CITY - Trustees have at least one pertinent question about a proposed mining operation in Perrysburg Township.
Should a trucking business with an owner who has been accused of arson, bombing and other allegations be allowed to expand into mining with explosives?
In a July 1 letter to a division of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources opposing a surface mining permit, Township Administrator Walt Celley requested a public hearing on the proposed operation, describing a troubling legal history involving owners and employees of Wylie & Sons Landscaping and concerns about the scope of the mining.
"We hope ODNR will give the application a high level of scrutiny," Celley said. "From my discussions with them, I believe they will."
The June 5 permit application to ODNR submitted by Youngstown geologist Raymond J. Beach on the company's behalf requests permission to mine topsoil, limestone and clay at the 14.7-acre property, located at 27226 Glenwood Road between U.S. 20 and Ohio 795. The site, presently home to BFD Trucking, is owned by Thomas and Nicholas Wylie, also listed as owners of Wylie & Sons Landscaping and the trucking business.
The proposed 15-year operation would quarry an estimated 12,000 tons of topsoil, 90,000 tons of clay and 1.5 million tons of limestone by extraction and blasting. A detailed reclamation plan for the property would include planting of grasses and crops, grading and converting the mine into a reservoir.
Aside from the use of blasting in the area which features residential homes nearby, Celley's letter lays out details of past legal action against the business and its owners and employees, as well as contempt for township authority and zoning regulations. Celley said there is less cause for Perrysburg Township to regulate use of the property, as the area is not zoned.
He said the bulk of the township's opposition lies with environmental concerns for the site and use of Glendale Road, which was resurfaced just last year.
The township has received a handful of complaints about mud on the roadway from trucks leaving the location, and one driver was cited for doing so, he said.
Though a signature page on the application states Wylie & Sons owners have been in touch with authorities regarding use of public roads, Celley said there has been no communication aside from an initial inquiry seeking permitting guidance on the operation.
If the application were approved, Celley said he'd like to see a bond attached to the operation to secure condition of the roadway.
"We don't think the site is appropriate for a mining operation," Celley said. "But as a fallback, if ODNR determines it is appropriate, we'd like to see some kind of security posted for the road, and any permit be conditional on obeying township regulations that pertain to the road.
"If you would see at times the extent of mud they've put on the road, it's far beyond anything reasonable."
One active mining site is presently operated in the township by Cardinal Aggregate Inc. in the 8000-block of Fremont Pike. Celley said that site is much more organized and less visually jarring to area residents.
"We have no particular cause to interfere with someone's business; we just want it to be conducted in a lawful manner," Celley said. "We're pro-business, but we do expect them to behave appropriately with respect to use of the township roads."
A sizeable section of the opposition centers around civil complaints against Thomas Wylie and Wylie & Sons Landscaping, as well as five cases filed against the business by Swancreek Township which was struggling to enforce local rules and zoning regulations.
Celley said the review of the civil proceedings relates more to the character of those running the business, rather than expressed concern about potential catastrophes involving explosives.
"The character of the individuals is more of a concern as to whether they would follow through with proper reclamation" detailed in the application, Celley said.
According to Wood County Common Please court documents included in the opposition, Jerry Kmotorka of Swanton filed a 2008 civil case against Thomas Wylie that also named as defendants Lisa M. Wylie, Thomas Wylie Jr., and both the landscaping and trucking businesses, then located in Swancreek Township. The complaint stemmed from repeated criminal actions of Thomas Wylie, Thomas Wylie Jr. and four unidentified employees, who allegedly lashed out against Kmotorka for expressing concerns about the businesses and reporting zoning violations after Kmotorka purchased a plot from the Wylies in 2001 under the premise that their businesses would be relocated.
Documents state the businesses actually expanded from eight to 12 trucks to more than 40, creating a nuisance that resulted in ongoing retaliation against Kmotorka when he complained about the problems.
Allegations over the course of two years include intimidation, trespassing, arson and two separate bombings of Kmotorka's property, all of which culminated in the physical assault of Kmotorka by Thomas Wylie, Thomas Wylie Jr. and two unidentified subjects on Oct. 14, 2007. Records indicate the case resulted in a $35,000 judgment against Thomas Wylie and $500 against Thomas Wylie Jr. Kmotorka also moved for and was granted a protective order against the defendants.
A separate document details a March 2005 incident in which Thomas Wylie allegedly threatened and attempted to intimidate Swancreek Township Zoning Inspector Walter J. Hallett III when he came to the business to investigate reported infractions.
Hallett states in a report that although he declined to file a complaint or statement to the Fulton County Sheriff's Office, Wylie threatened violence and expressed contempt for township and zoning authority, claiming he could do "whatever he wants" on his property regardless of permit requirements.
Township trustees and administrators are expected to consider dates for a public information session at a department head meeting at 2 p.m. Wednesday.
Last Updated on Friday, 05 July 2013 09:15